Rev. Luis Cortés Jr. and Rev. Danny Cortés received the award from CORA CEO AnnMarie Schultz and Board Chair John J. Coyle IV. (Photo: Courtesy/CORA Services)

On Thursday, April 28th, the Cortés brothers, Esperanza’s Founder and CEO, Reverend Luis Cortés, Jr., and Executive Vice President & Chief Operating Officer, Reverend Danny Cortés, received the “Love in Action” award at CORA’s 50th Anniversary Gala for their dedication and service to Hispanic families in Philadelphia. Presented by the stars from the long-running TV series It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Kaitlin Olson and Rob McElhenney, the event was held at the National Constitution Center in downtown Philadelphia.

The program began with an instrumental performance from the Elegance String Quartet, an electric string quartet band playing pop music hits. CORA CEO, AnnMarie Schultz, and Board Chair, John J. Coyle IV, presented Reverends Luis and Danny Cortés with the award and highlighted their role in creating a network of institutions covering the K-14 educational pipeline. Today, Esperanza Academy Charter School, Esperanza Cyber Charter School, and The Esperanza College of Eastern University jointly serve nearly 3,000 students from the Hunting Park community of North Philadelphia and surrounding neighborhoods.

“At our 50th Anniversary Celebration, CORA Services purposefully identified families who have given their lives to care for Philadelphia’s children and families. We were privileged to honor Luis and Danny Cortés for their incredible love and charisma in designing and implementing community supports that enhance the academic and social lives of children and families in Philadelphia, with a particular focus on the Hispanic community.  They have given their lives to the service of others and deserve an incredible thanks for their ‘Love-In-Action,’” Ms. Schultz said.

Rev. Dr. Lorina Marshall-Blake (center), President of the Independence Blue Cross Foundation, was among those in attendance at the Gala. (Photo: Courtesy/Christine Nieves/Esperanza)

The Cortés family was one of nine selected by CORA for the “Love in Action” award. Other honorees included the Armstrong Family, highlighting Sheila Armstrong’s work as Co-founder and Executive Director of Cooking4Autism; and the Sisters of the Good Shepherd, part of a network of ministries focused on social justice issues. Rob McElhenney and his father, Robert McElhenney Sr., accepted the award on behalf of the McElhenney family. Rob, who is widely known for playing the role of Mac in the Philadelphia-inspired TV show, was a counselor at CORA’s camp while his father served as Vice President of Human Resources.

CORA Services is a Philadelphia-based nonprofit providing counseling and case management support to students across the Philadelphia region. Kristi Tedeschi, the Elementary and Middle School Special Education Coordinator at Esperanza Academy, attended the event and shared about CORA’s work, saying, «CORA is our [Student Assistance Program] provider for the Academy. When we have students who need outside counseling, psychological evaluations, are struggling with addiction or mental health issues, CORA comes and does a free evaluation and sets them up with services».

Legacy Sponsors, Kaitlin Olson and Rob McElhenney (center), pose for a photo with the Cortés brothers. (Photo: Courtesy/ Kristi Tedeschi/Esperanza)
 

After the event, Rev. Luis Cortés was interviewed by Impacto. «It was humbling to be honored along with eight other families that have done so much for the community. I am extremely grateful to receive this award for the work we do in Latino North Philadelphia,» he said. The Cortés brothers were accompanied at the event by Esperanza leadership, family, and friends.

Los hermanos Cortés, el fundador y director ejecutivo de Esperanza, el reverendo Luis Cortés, Jr., y el vicepresidente ejecutivo y director de operaciones, reverendo Danny Cortés, recibieron el pasado 28 de abril, el premio «Amor en acción» en la gala del 50 aniversario de CORA para su dedicación y servicio a las familias hispanas en Filadelfia. Presentado por las estrellas de la serie de televisión de larga data It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Kaitlin Olson y Rob McElhenney.

En la premiación destacaron el papel de Esperanza, en la creación de una red de instituciones que cubren la línea educativa K-14.  Esperanza Academy Charter School, Esperanza Cyber ​​Charter School y The Esperanza College of Eastern University atienden conjuntamente a casi 3000 estudiantes de la comunidad de Hunting Park en el norte de Filadelfia y los vecindarios circundantes.

“En nuestra celebración del 50.º aniversario, CORA Services identificó a propósito a las familias que han dado su vida para cuidar a los niños y las familias de Filadelfia. Tuvimos el privilegio de honrar a Luis y Danny Cortés por su increíble amor y carisma al diseñar e implementar apoyos comunitarios que mejoran la vida académica y social de los niños y las familias en Filadelfia, con un enfoque particular en la comunidad hispana. Han dado sus vidas al servicio de los demás y merecen un agradecimiento increíble por su ‘Amor en acción’”, dijo AnnMarie Schultz, directora ejecutiva de CORA.

CORA Services es una organización sin fines de lucro con sede en Filadelfia que brinda asesoramiento y apoyo en la gestión de casos a estudiantes de toda la región de Filadelfia. Kristi Tedeschi, coordinadora de educación especial de primaria y secundaria de la Academia Esperanza, asistió al evento y compartió, «CORA es nuestro [Programa de Asistencia Estudiantil] proveedor de la Academia. Cuando tenemos estudiantes que necesitan asesoramiento externo, evaluaciones, está luchando contra la adicción o problemas de salud mental, CORA viene y hace una evaluación gratuita y les brinda servicios».

Luego del evento, el Rev. Luis Cortés, Jr., fue entrevistado por Impacto. “Fue una lección de humildad ser honrado junto con otras ocho familias que han hecho tanto por la comunidad. Estoy extremadamente agradecido de recibir este premio por el trabajo que hacemos en el norte latino de Filadelfia”, dijo. Los Cortés estuvieron acompañados por el liderazgo de Esperanza, familiares y amigos.

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